89 golfers teed it up at Niagara Falls country club on Monday the 27th in the 2016 Porter Cup open qualifier. A number of locals with previous experience, including Lockport’s Des Stoll and East Amherst’s Ben Reichert, were featured among the candidates for a spot in the tournament field. By day’s end, a score of minus-one 69 was needed to move on to the tournament proper.

Leading the way were Bill Gaffney of Williamsville and John Boncoddo of Brantford, Ontario, with scores of 66. Gaffney made five birdies on the day, with his one blemish being a bogey on the uber-challenging 9th hole. The birdies came on 1, 5 and 11, then 16 and 18 to secure the co-medal and spot in the event. Boncoddo had this to say about his round, via Twitter:

  1. the course played fairly hard when the wind picked up on the back 9/greens were tricky, my distance control stood out for me

In next with 67s were two of western New York’s top young golfers, Chris Yustin of East Amherst and David Hanes of Elma. Both recent high school graduates, Yustin (Williamsville East) and Hanes (St. Francis) posted three-under rounds to move safely on. Hanes joins older brother Billy, one of 67 invited golfers, in the field.

The fifth qualifying spot went to Jake McNulty of Port Perry, Ontario. The qualifier has been kind to Ontario golfers and McNulty and Boncoddo, teammates at Eastern Michigan University, continued the tradition of Canadian qualifiers.

Spots six through eight, at one-under 69, went to Joo-Young Lee of Illinois and Northern Illinois university, Charlie Green of Michigan and Michigan State, and Tony Bagneschi, a former Niagara Falls resident now living in Arizona.

Golfers in the tournament, to be played July 27th-30th, represent the USA, Canada, Italy, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa.